Design your life: Having the funds for renovations can be the key to seniors being able to age in their own home for longer.

Design your life: Having the funds for renovations can be the key to seniors being able to age in their own home for longer.

Living well: New loan product for over-60s homeowners provides retirement funds option

Living well: New loan product for over-60s homeowners provides retirement option

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For the over 60s, qualifying for an unsecured loan can be a challenge, but an innovative new loan product available to homeowners is out to change that.

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This is branded content for Heartland Finance.

For the over 60s, qualifying for an unsecured loan can be a challenge, but an innovative new loan product available to homeowners is out to change that.

Heartland Finance has launched its new Well-Life Loans in a move aimed at giving older Australians another funding option as they plan and enter into retirement.

A Well-Life Loan is an unsecured loan of up to $20,000 that is specifically designed for people aged 60 and over who need access to a one-off lump sum that can be used for anything, from much-needed home improvement to buying a new car.

It's offering homeowners a way to leverage the security in their home to make the purchases they need now, but without having to take out a mortgage on their property.

Among the special features setting a Well-Life Loan apart from others in the market is its flexible repayment model.

Borrowers don't need to make regular payments straight away. It's only once the loan value exceeds $30,000 that borrowers are required to make any payments. The loan doesn't need to be paid in full until you sell or leave your home.

Sharon Yardley, Heartland's Head of Operations, said the Well-Life product had been carefully developed to meet the needs of Heartland's homeowner customers who wanted access to funds but without having to mortgage their home.

"The Well-Life product helps people fund that next step, in a different way to something like our reverse mortgage products. But it's still aimed at allowing our customers to live a more comfortable retirement, a retirement they deserve," she said.

"It's unsecured so if you are worried about having a mortgage on your title and on your property you don't have to. We saw that some of our customers needed to access funds for different reasons but they were nervous about offering their property as security and that's where the concept of this product came from."

Purchasing a new car is one of the top ways Well-Life Loans are being put to use.

Purchasing a new car is one of the top ways Well-Life Loans are being put to use.

The Well-Life Loan joins Heartland's other retirement offering, Heartland Reverse Mortgages, which was last year named InfoChoice's Reverse Mortgage of the Year.

Both products are part of Heartland's strategy to deliver the kinds of financial options it is predicted more Australian seniors will need to consider in the future to fund the retirement lifestyle they would like to have, including being able to age in their own home.

Recent research supported by Heartland found that while most senior Australians want to remain in their current home for as long as they can, they are worried they won't be able to afford to do so.

The report from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) released in November last year showed that while almost 90 per cent of retirees wanted to age in place in their current home, the combination of limited superannuation and the rising cost of living was restricting their ability to provide for essential home improvements and a comfortable retirement.

Thirty-six per cent of older Australians surveyed said they lived in a home that may be unsuitable for ageing in place without upgrades or renovations, while approximately 29 per cent said they would not be able to afford the changes required to make their home more age friendly.

Ms Yardley said Well-Life Loans could help seniors access those much-needed funds to make changes to their home.

"So far the main reason people are applying has been home improvements - I think with COVID-19 we're all staying home a bit more and recognising that our house could be a little bit more comfortable and suited for our changing needs," she said.

"There's also debt consolidation and spending on cars, either to repair or upgrade - they are the three main reasons."

If you'd like to find out more or apply for a Well-Life Loan visit Heartland Finance's website or call the team on 1300 889 338.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information has been prepared without taking account of the needs, objectives, or financial situation of any particular individual. Applicants should consider their own circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice. Applications are subject to loan approval criteria. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Credit provided by ASF Custodians Pty Ltd. Australian Credit Licence Numbers: Australian Seniors Finance Pty Ltd - 386760 (ACN 108 875 636) / ASF Custodians Pty Ltd - 386781 (ACN 106 822 780).

This is branded content for Heartland Finance.

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